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Three of the UK’s leaders in transport research and consultancy have come together

one stop service
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A unique alliance of Cooper, TRL & NTEC

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Transport Laboratory Services

Three of the UK’s leaders in transport research and consultancy have come together to provide a unique one-stop service covering the supply of laboratory equipment, laboratory testing, specialist training and related consultancy services.

Cooper Research Technology (CRT), the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC) at the University of Nottingham and TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) have developed a working agreement under which they cooperate on UK and international transport projects involving:

  • The supply of specialist laboratory equipment
  • Research and testing procedures
  • Training of operatives and development of expertise
  • Professional research and consultancy

This unique alliance brings together skills in test equipment, knowledge of test methods and long-term scientific research, and the practical experience gained from implementing new ideas and products on the transport network, including highways, railways and airfields.  The three organisations have worked across the world in transport engineering and have a reputation for high quality services and research, where customer satisfaction is paramount and the delivery of practical solutions that produce immediate benefits key to success.

Together we fulfil a global demand from highway authorities, civil engineering contractors and consultants for high quality comprehensive services that can improve performance in laboratory materials, product testing and pavement research. We offer highway engineering of the highest standard coupled with the provision of training and support in laboratory testing.

Cooper Research Technology

Cooper Research Technology was established in 1990 and has become a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance testing equipment for assessing mechanical properties, such as stiffness modulus, fatigue and permanent deformation, for asphaltic and unbound materials used in highway construction. Cooper Research Technology has an experienced R&D team with expertise in the design, manufacture and support of computer controlled testing equipment for use in engineering and research.

Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre

The Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC) is part of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham and provides internationally leading research, education and laboratory facilities for transportation infrastructure. NTEC is the UK’s foremost University research centre focused on the materials and infrastructure that provide the central elements of all highways, railways, docks and airports. NTEC is well-known throughout the world for pavement research, training and knowledge transfer.

TRL (Transport Research Laboratory)

TRL is recognised world-wide as a provider of impartial and independent transport research and advice; having produced the basis for many of the standards and specifications for design and maintenance of roads, and the survey technologies that are in use today. TRL has a range of testing and certification facilities which are dedicated to the assessment of asphalt and concrete, structural components and paving systems. Key facilities are the Structures Hall, where static and dynamic load testing of beams or structures can be undertaken, and the Accelerated Pavement Test Facility.

Engineering Together

Consultancy Services

Testing Services



Engineering Together

We supply equipment for materials and performance testing, including:

  • Universal testing machines
  • 4, 3 and 2 point bending beam systems
  • Small, large and Hamburg wheel trackers
  • Gyratory compactors
  • Thermal crack testing systems
  • Rolling compactors
  • Bitumen testing equipment
  • Skid testing machines
  • Core drilling machines

We oversee the full commissioning of equipment with a customised remote support service to help solve problems and include practical training and know-how in the use of the equipment, providing the knowledge needed to optimise the use of the testing equipment to ensure accurate results.

Testing Services

We offer a comprehensive, quality assured testing service to industry; the work is conducted in world-class laboratories by skilled staff, and includes:

  • Testing of bitumen and polymer modified binders
  • Torque, Leutner, shear and tensile adhesion testing
  • Measurement of water permeability of materials
  • Advanced testing of soils, granular and hydraulically bound materials
  • Full scale testing of structural elements statically or dynamically
  • Full scale pavement testing
  • Rail track performance testing

All three parties work to the highest standards and all carry certificated recognition by the UK Accreditation Service UKAS.  Our equipment is calibrated and traceable to national standards.


We provide both distance learning and University placements for Technicians and Engineers. The Cooper and TRLAcademies provide training and knowledge transfer, whilst courses led by the University of Nottingham include:


  • Highway engineering planning and construction
  • Pavement evaluation and maintenance management
  • Risk engineering
  • Tunneling
  • Instrumentation and ground movement
  • Railway control systems, safety systems, management of switches & crossings
  • Track alignment design & cant
  • Railway track construction & renewal
  • Railway management
  • Geometric design and pavement structural design of airfields

Consultancy Services

Our specialist engineering and scientific staff provide top quality specialist consultancy, including:

  • Advanced material evaluation
  • Performance-based assessment
  • Pavement design and materials evaluation
  • Asset management
  • Risk and reliability engineering
  • Sustainable materials and practice
  • Environmental assessment
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Value measurement
  • Computer modeling

We can provide detailed failure and forensic investigations, as well as expert witness work, and the development of made-to-measure testing, and the evaluation of new designs and products.


We have supplied equipment and testing services worldwide. Our scientists and engineers have developed and published national specifications and standards, as well as undertaking major transport research projects for many national customers, including:

  • UK Highways Agency
  • Public Works Authority, Qatar
  • Ethiopian Roads Authority
  • European Commission
  • World Bank
  • Department for International Development (UK)

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